State Board of Education to hear from the field on school reopening plans

As districts start a new school year like none other, the State Board of Education on Tuesday will receive feedback from education leaders on their progress.

Here is a link to the State Board’s agenda and backup materials. Here is a link to the live webstream of the meeting.

Districts statewide are grappling with how to open schools during the COVID-19 pandemic after being shut down in March to slow the spread of the disease.

Last month, the State Board approved guidelines — “Navigating Change” — to help schools prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year with on-site, hybrid and remote learning.

Since then, Gov. Laura Kelly proposed an executive order to delay the start of school until Sept. 9 as the number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas were hitting record levels. But the State Board rejected that order, leaving the startup time to individual districts.

Kelly, however, also issued an executive order that did not require State Board approval, which essentially requires nearly everyone in schools to wear masks, socially distance, hand sanitize every hour and undergo daily temperature checks.

School boards across the state have been meeting and conferring with health officials, parents and students to put together reopening plans.

In other business, the board will:

— Receive recommendations to continue an alternative licensure pathway for elementary education and special education teachers;

— Receive an update on the “All in for Kansas Kids” plan to strengthen Kansas’ early childhood system;

— Discuss high school graduation requirements, Individual Plans of Study and post-secondary credentialing.

— Receive an update on dyslexia training and timeline.

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